Australia approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

Sydney, Australia, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Australia announced Tuesday the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine from Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement that it has approved the use of the vaccine for people over 18 for the next two years, which becomes the second to obtain the rights in the country after Pfizer.

It said that while those over 65 have shown “a strong immune response” in clinical trials, there were not enough participants to draw definitive conclusions about its efficacy in this age group.

“The decision to immunize an older patient should be decided on a case-by-case basis, considering age, disease and environment, considering the benefits of the vaccine and potential risks,” the statement said.

Although the World Health Organization recommends the Anglo-Swedish vaccine for all age groups, some countries have temporarily banned those over 65 due to the uncertainty about its side effects.

Australia has so far secured the purchase of 53.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, of which 50 million will be manufactured in the country once pharmaceutical quality requirements are met.

It is expected the vaccines will begin to inoculate the population in March, following the approval by Australian authorities, which have also signed agreements to obtain doses from Novavax and the COVAX consortium.

This announcement came after the arrival of the first 142,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in Australia, which will start being used Monday.

Australia has so far recorded 28,905 Covid-19 cases, including 909 deaths. EFE-EPA


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